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Evidence requirements

Sculpture outside Centre for Innovation

The University is legally required to verify certain personal details for students.

  • A new/first year student is someone who has never previously enrolled at Otago
  • A returning student is someone who was enrolled at Otago in one of both of the previous two years.
  • A recommencing student is someone who been enrolled at Otago but not in the preceding two years.

Note: Any documents supplied must be in English or be accompanied by an appropriately certified English translation.

First year/new student to Otago

Matching your details against the NSI

After you have submitted your application we will attempt to match your name, date of birth and citizenship or residency against the National Student Index (NSI) using your National Student Number (NSN).

If you do not have an NSN, or we are unable to match your details, you may be asked to provide physical witnessed documents to verify your name, date of birth, and citizenship or residency status.

Evidence of legal name, date of birth and citizenship

If you’re a New Zealand or Australian citizen, and have never changed your name, an original or witnessed copy of any of the following will normally provide all the information required:

  • your birth certificate (if born in New Zealand or Australia)
  • the page of your passport showing your name and other details
  • your citizenship certificate

Note: A copy of your driver’s licence will not be accepted as it does not provide evidence of your citizenship or residency status.

If you are a New Zealand or Australian permanent resident, and have never changed your name, we will require a witnessed copies of:

  • the front page of your passport showing your name and other details, and
    either
  • your residence visa label or
  • appropriate documentation confirming you have been granted an electronic visa/permit (New Zealand residents only) or
  • a confirmation email sent directly from the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service that you have been granted an electronic visa (Australian permanent residents only)

If you have refugee status, you must provide the original or a witnessed copy of the letter from the Immigration Service giving you entitlement to reside in New Zealand or Australia.

Note: If you do not hold the status of a domestic student you must have a student permit to enrol in a course that lasts for longer than three months taken in a New Zealand government-funded institution. If you are in the country on the basis of a work visa you must apply for a variation to your visa to permit you to enrol. You will be required to provide a copy of your student permit. For further information contact the International Office.

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Recommencing students

If you are a recommencing student you may also be required to provide the same evidence as for a first year student.

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Previous New Zealand tertiary study

If you have enrolled at another New Zealand tertiary institution (either this current year, in a previous year, or since you were last enrolled at Otago), you will need to provide an official transcript in order to be assessed for admission to the University of Otago.

If you have previously studied at another New Zealand university, your method of entrance will normally carry over to Otago.

It is your responsibility to provide your transcript as the University of Otago is not able to request records from other institutions on behalf of students, and cannot match this information on the NSI. Students who have completed appropriate study at a tertiary institution may apply for ad eundem or transfer credit on the basis of passes achieved; a fee is normally charged for such applications.

Note: The University defines transferring students as ’a student who has previously attended another university in New Zealand but not the University of Otago’. There are separate admission requirements if you have been enrolled at an overseas university or a non-university tertiary institution in New Zealand.

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If you have changed your name

If the name on the NSI, your birth certificate, passport or citizenship certificate differs from your current name, or the name in which you gained any qualifications relevant to your admission, you must also provide an original or a witnessed copy of one or more of the following as formal evidence of each change:

  • Marriage or civil union certificate
  • Certificate of dissolution of marriage or civil union
  • Deed poll
  • Statutory declaration issued by Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Note: Any document containing a change of name must include both your previous name and the new name.

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If you have changed your gender

You can change your gender marker on university records to ‘X’, Female or Male by providing one of the following:

  • A statutory declaration
  • An updated passport

A Justice of the Peace (JP) will need to sign a Statutory Declaration. See the website to find out how to fill in a statutory declaration and/or print off a blank form.

You will need to provide the original copy of the statutory declaration to the University Information Centre (UIC) who will make a copy and witness it for you.

Note: Any documentation containing a change of gender must include both your assigned gender and your correct gender. For example: “Although my birth certificate shows my gender as _____________ I request that the university record my gender as _____________”. Ensure you include your full name and student ID number.

If you have changed your gender marker on your passport you can take it to the UIC who will make a copy of the original document and witness it for you.

Alternatively, you can get a Justice of the Peace to witness a copy of either the Statutory Declaration or your updated passport, and then post the witnessed copy to The Manager, Admissions and Enrolment.

JP services are available at the University of Otago on Wednesday mornings.

For further support, information and resources contact OUSA Queer Support.

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If you have changed your residency status

If you are re-enrolling and have changed your residency status since you were last enrolled, you must provide a witnessed copy of one of the following:

  • your amended passport
  • your citizenship certificate

If you do not hold the status of a domestic student you must have a student permit to enrol in a course that lasts for longer than three months taken in a New Zealand government-funded institution. If you are in the country on the basis of a work visa you must apply for a variation to your visa to permit you to enrol.

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Further information